Calabash drums accompany songs sung by Nafana women during the celebration of puberty (Manaa Ndiom) and marriage (Bijam) rites. These drums are played exclusively by women. The drums are made by filling a large hollowed-out calabash or gourd (chrɛ in Nafaanra) with water. A smaller calabash bowl (chrɛgbɔɔ in Nafaanra) floating upright in the water provides the surface on which the women drum. This short video shows the technique by which women strike the floating calabash and the rim of the large calabash with small calabash ladles held in their right hands. Visible at the bottom of the larger calabash drum are maize (bleju in Nafaanra) kernels tossed into the drum by passing dancers. The women sing as they drum. Boase, 11 November, 2018. Length: .23 minutes.
At a day-long celebration of the Banda area's rich cultural heritage at the Banda Cultural Centre in Banda-Ahenkro, people from Ahenkro share Nafana songs and dances associated with with girls' puberty rites (Manaa Ndiom) and wedding celebrations (Bijam). The film opens with photos of girls dressed in Manaa Ndiom attire during the 1995 inauguration of the Banda Cultural Centre. A series of songs and dances performed at the 2019 event follows, accompanied by the rhythms of calabash drums, calabash rattles and, in some cases, a wooden drum. The group is joined in the first song by District Chief Executive Mary Konneh who plays calabash rattles and dances. Seated under the shade of the canopy, Afua Donkor demonstrates how to spin cotton while others sing and dance. Young people can be seen using their cell phones to record the action. Many of the Elder women who perform wear locally made strip-woven blue-and-white textiles as skirt wraps. Ahenkro, 28 June, 2019. Length: 00:15:57 minutes.
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University of Victoria Libraries
Performance; Cell phones
Nafana (African people); Dance; Songs; Music; Rites and Ceremonies; Marriage customs and rites; Gourd, Calabash; West African strip weaving; Drums (musical instrument); Rattles; Heritage